Heart Attack Warning Signs
- Chest Discomfort: uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Upper Body Discomfort: Pain in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of Breath: with or without chest discomfort. Other signs may include breaking into a cold sweat, nausea/vomiting or lightheadedness. Women are more likely to experience these symptoms.
These mild symptoms may indicate the onset of a heart attack. Early recognition and response can save lives. Don’t wait until chest pain becomes severe. At the first signs of chest discomfort, seek medical attention. Call 911. 85% of heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a blockage.
Why is this so important?
♥ Heart Disease is the number one killer in the U.S.
♥ 1.2 Million Americans suffer from a heart attack every year
♥ 785,000 Americans will have a first-time heart attack
♥ 470,000 will have a repeat heart attack
♥ 800,000 heart attack deaths occur each year
Time is Muscle! The longer you wait the more damage you allow to occur to your heart.
Stroke Warning Signs
- Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm or leg
- Temporary impairment of speech or the ability to understand speech
- Sudden vision impairment, particularly in one eye
- Double vision
- Unexplained headaches or a change in headache pattern
- Dizziness or unsteadiness when walking
For more information on early heart attack care visit www.deputyheartattack.org
Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) Lab
The staff of the MCH Cath Lab has a combined clinical experience of almost 180 years. More than 2,900 patients are seen each year and more that 10,700 diagnostic procedures are performed, as well as almost 1,200 interventional procedures. The MCH Cath Lab is proud to offer cutting edge equipment that utilizes the latest technology. Interventional procedures such as rotational atherectomy (rotablation), balloon angioplasty (PTCA), coronary stent implantation, left heart catheterization, cutting balloon, angiojet, and brachytherapy are routinely performed.
The staff has been involved with implementing new cardiac procedures, including the first drug-eluting stents in West Texas, brachytherapy, and intracardiac echo (ICE).
Cath Lab staff is on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year. In an emergency situation, a person who is having a heart attack can be taken to the Cath Lab, where life-saving interventional procedures can stop the heart attack in over 97% of cases. Timing is critical when a person has chest pain. With that in mind, the ideal goal of the MCH Cath Lab is that when a patient with chest pain comes to the Hospital, the procedure is started within 60 minutes of his or her arrival.
Cardiac Electrophysiology is the study and treatment of the electrical (heart beat) system in the heart. The EP Cardiologist is a specialist or expert trained physician in electrophysiology. The EP physician will direct the procedures. If the heart rate (beats or rhythm) is abnormally too fast or too slow, the EP study will be able to diagnose or find the reason. Specialized catheters are connected to “high tech” computers and monitors and find the exact source of an abnormal heart rhythm. Once the rhythm has been diagnosed, treatment can be initiated. Lethal heart rhythms, such as ventricular tachycardia (fast heart rate), may be treated by implanting a Defibrillator (AICD). Certain fast heart rhythms can be eliminated by using radiofrequency energy called an ablation procedure to eliminate it permanently, allowing the patient to live a life free of medication.
Cardiac Pacemakers and Automated Internal Cardioverter Defibrillators are also implanted in the EP Lab. Pacemakers are implanted for patients who primarily have a slow heart rate. ICD’s are implanted in patient’s whose primary problem is a fast heart rate.
Center for Heart Disease
Medical Center Hospital has been providing excellence in cardiac care to the Permian Basin for over 30 years and 2003 marked a milestone when it opened the MCH Center for Heart Disease. The Center offers a complete cardiovascular services program for the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of heart disease. Whether a cardiac patient is admitted through the emergency department or by a private physician, the Center for Heart Disease staff provides multi-disciplinary care on a continual basis. The Chest Pain Center is a 24-hour unit that specializes in the treatment of chest pain to allow for rapid diagnosis and treatment.
Diagnostic procedures offered at the MCH Center for Heart Disease include a complete array of structural, circulatory and electrical testing through the Electrodiagnostics and Nuclear Medicine departments. MCH also provides Electrophysiology services for the diagnosis and treatment of electrical problems of the heart.
The Cardiac Catheterization Labs include a specialized Peripheral Vascular suite and the only Cardiac Electrophysiology suite in the Permian Basin. There are two additional Cath Lab suites that offer a full array of cardiac diagnostic and interventional procedures. The Cath Lab suites are equipped with the very latest in cardiac technology. The staff that has been involved with implementing new cardiac procedures, including the first drug-eluting stents in West Texas, will continue to be involved in groundbreaking cardiac procedures.
Medical Center Hospital also offers a complete cardiac rehabilitation program designed to help patients with heart disease recover quicker and return to a full and active lifestyle. For more information regarding the MCH Center for Heart Disease, please call (432) 640-BEAT.
Chest Pain Center
The Chest Pain Center is a fast track unit that specializes in the rapid diagnosis of the causes of chest pain and subsequent treatment of a heart attack. This is vital to our patients because rapid intervention is proven to minimize and even prevent damage to the heart muscle.
The Chest Pain Center is open 24/7/365 and is staffed by specially trained physicians, nurses and technicians who are dedicated 100% to providing the quickest, most advanced coronary care available… because when it comes to a heart attack every minute counts.
Coronary Care Unit (CCU)
MCH offers a 20 bed state-of-the-art Coronary Care Unit. The unit is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by specially trained critical care nurses.
The Coronary Care Unit skillfully cares for patients experiencing suspected or acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rates), unstable angina (chest pain), Congestive Heart Failure, and those who require intense monitoring of vital signs and continuous IV infusions of medications that support heart rate and blood pressure.
The Coronary Care Unit also cares for many patients following Cardiac Cath Lab procedures such as balloon angioplasty and coronary stent placement, and permanent pacemaker or automated internal cardioverter defibrillator (AICD) placement.
The Coronary Care Unit is staffed by highly trained caring personnel who strive to meet the needs of patients and families in a compassionate and skillful manner during an acute illness. The staff and the physicians in the Coronary Care Unit are another reason to make Medical Center Hospital your choice for cardiac care.
Telemetry Units are an integral part of the Center for Heart Disease at Medical Center Hospital. Telemetry floors include 4 Central and 9 Central. These floors are designed to meet the needs of acutely ill inpatients who display signs and symptoms of a cardiac disease or conditions that threaten cardiac stability.
Patients diagnosed with angina, arrhythmia, acute pulmonary edema, Congestive Heart Failure, and coronary artery disease may be admitted to telemetry floors. Telemetry floors also care for those patients who have had coronary angioplasty or coronary stent placement, insertion of permanent pacemaker or Automated Internal Cardioverter Defibrillator (AICD) placement.
The 4 Central Telemetry Unit also cares for those patients who have undergone Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery, Heart Valve Replacement Surgery, or who are recovering from myocardial infarction (heart attack).
The telemetry unit facilities and staff are another reason to make Medical Center Hospital your choice for cardiac care.